Rays sign Bobby Wilson, Corey Brown and Eugenio Velez

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The Rays announced this afternoon that they have signed catcher Bobby Wilson, outfielder Corey Brown and infielder/outfielder Eugenio Velez to minor league contracts. All three players received invitations to major league spring training, but figure to serve as minor league depth in 2015.

Wilson, who turns 32 in April, appeared in two games with the Diamondbacks this past season and spent most of the year in Triple-A. Best known for his time with the Angels, he owns a lowly .209/.271/.321 batting line over 193 games in the majors.

Brown, 29, played in three games with the Red Sox in 2014 and logged one plate appearance. Originally drafted by the Athletics as a supplemental first-round pick in 2007, he came over to the Nationals in the Josh Willingham trade in 2010 and appeared in 36 games with the club from 2011-2013.

Velez hasn’t played in the majors since 2011 as a member of the Dodgers. Now 32 years old, he batted .309/.363/.441 with seven home runs, 51 RBI, and 27 stolen bases over 116 games this past season with the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate.

Ex-Angels employee charged in overdose death of Tyler Skaggs

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FORT WORTH, Texas — A former Angels employee has been charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in connection with last year’s overdose death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, prosecutors in Texas announced Friday.

Eric Prescott Kay was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, and made his first appearance Friday in federal court, according to Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Kay was communications director for the Angels.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1, 2019, before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed before the teams played the final three games.

Skaggs died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, a coroner’s report said. Prosecutors accused Kay of providing the fentanyl to Skaggs and others, who were not named.

“Tyler Skaggs’s overdose – coming, as it did, in the midst of an ascendant baseball career – should be a wake-up call: No one is immune from this deadly drug, whether sold as a powder or hidden inside an innocuous-looking tablet,” Nealy Cox said.

If convicted, Kay faces up to 20 years in prison. Federal court records do not list an attorney representing him, and an attorney who previously spoke on his behalf did not immediately return a message seeking comment.